There are more parenting styles out there than there are Reality TV shows on Bravo. Like each stylish Housewife of Wherever, each family has its own particular parenting style that works for them, and each family, mom, dad, and dog feels strongly about their own system. This is why, like those conversationally polite people who stay away from religion and politics, I now make it a point to tread lightly when it comes to talking tips and techniques regarding child-rearing. What’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander (especially around Thanksgiving). What I didn’t figure on was having two different parenting styles under my one roof. I assumed my husband and I would always be on the same page—mine.
Luckily, the hubs and I don’t differ on HUGE issues. I mean, at 6 months, I’m not totally sure what those huge issues would be, because there are only so many ways to change a diaper (my way), give the baby a bath (my way), and put together at Dr. Brown bottle. (Fine. His way. (I was so sleep deprived one night I decided to find a new and exciting way of assembling the bottle—without its innards.)) I just thought once we were parents we would both always do things the SAME way.
From upstairs, I can hear my baby whining while my husband is downstairs washing the bottle insides I forgot to use. The moments slowly tick by while the whimpering begins to escalate to a light wail. It’s then I feel like my arms are being remotely controlled by my 6-month-old. My flabby biceps lead me Frankenstein-like downstairs so that I may scoop him up and save him from my husband.
“Why aren’t you picking him up,” I say picking up my whining little guy.
“Because he’s fine,” is my husband’s response.
And here’s where we differ.
Yes. Technically he is fine. My husband has not left our son bleeding out his eyeballs, or eating the dirt from a potted plant, or watching Madonna’s Truth or Dare on Netfilx. But, seriously there’s only SO much whimpering a mom can take. For whatever reason, the fact that my husband seems to have a higher tolerance for the whimper than my boobs and insides can stand aggravates me to no end. We should be on the same page here. Aren’t we supposed to be able to agree on things all the time when it comes to OUR kid? Even how long to let him whine?
What’s a mom to do?
Later, my husband walks past the TV I’m watching and asks, “What are you watching?”
“The Housewives of Somewhere. Why?”
“How can you stand all that whining?”
“Are they whining? It doesn’t bother me.”
“Wow. That’s aggravating. I’m going to make dinner.*”
Maybe everyone’s tolerance is different.
*I added the making dinner part in case my husband read this and became inspired.